Christine’s Musings

When I’m inspired, I write about my passions outside of my practice. My biggest passion is gardening. I love digging in the dirt, it’s both meditative and creative. I share with you my gardening adventures on this page. You may be inspired to dig in the dirt, too.

Fall Musings 1.2


I spent the afternoon re-potting geraniums in smaller pots to bring them in for the winter.  In Berkley, MI, a Detroit inner ring suburb, our first frost might come tonight.  As an avid gardener, I like to think I know how long the growing season is, and thinking of Global Warming, I thought this was a late date for a first frost.  However, October 12 appears to be an average date, using data from 1981 to the present.  That time period covers the 30 years I have lived in Michigan, so I guess I never really paid attention to when my nasturtiums, morning glories, petunias, begonias and sweet potato vines expired.  This week I took down some ratty looking morning glory vines, uncovering a praying mantis and 3 egg cases.  What is different this year is that we are still harvesting tomatoes, having had humid temps in the 80s this past week! Read More…

Summer 1.2

Mother Nature is bountiful!  Now that it’s summer, plant growth is exuberant.  With the abundance of rain and temperatures only in the 80s so far this summer my yard is lush!  Or claustrophobic, more accurately.  Today is a pruning day, chopping back some of that excess. [Read more …]

Summer 1.1

“Bombs away!”

 It was the battle cry in the War on Weeds.  I lobbed a purslane out of the vegetable garden smack into the bucket.  My mom taught us how to play weed wars that she had played to make weeding more fun as she grew up during World War II.  I didn’t really understand what bombs were or World War II was.  Nor did I comprehend the Viet Nam was, which was building during my childhood in the 60s.  But I did get that it made my weekly chore of weeding for an hour a lot more fun!  Weeding was hot, and boring, and dirty.  And my dad insisted that we pull out the whole root, not just the plant above the dirt.  That was so hard, and seemed downright pointless to me. [Read more …]

Spring 1.6

Early in the spring, some neighbors sold their lovely house with Zen gardens surrounding it.  John has meditated on a cedar bench he hewed 30 years ago, in that back yard.  The garden was calm and had a Japanese feel to it, with the various Buddha and St. Francis statues scattered around the moss and flagstone ground and miniature Japanese maples and dwarf pines on the sides, enclosed by a bamboo fence.  So, of course, we went to their final garage sale.  And we came home with Buddha and St. Francis and the cedar meditating bench. [Read more …]

Spring 1.5

“Be careful what you pray for… you might get it!”

I’ve heard that saying all of my life.  Given I am a person who has always moved fast, not waited and feel some resentment if I have to wait at all, I have never prayed for patience.  I KNOW how one’s prayers are answered:  with opportunities, or in this case, with obstacles and barriers to wait through, and learn patience.  No thank you! [Read more …]

Spring 1.4

I was overwhelmed when I bought my first house.  I had imagined that I would not buy one until I was married.  Buying one as a single woman just never occurred to me.  Until I suddenly owned one!  A small lake front cottage  with a very bumpy road bisecting the house from the lake that was extended and somewhat winterized up in Waterford, MI.  Immediately after closing, I came down with tonsillitis requiring a tonsillectomy as well as mononucleosis!  I moved in and spent an overwhelming couple of years in that house before my life dramatically changed and I sold it and moved on. [Read more …]

Spring 1.3

One of the things I love about gardening is that I am never alone.  Of course, there’s the neighbors:  kids playing, lawn mowers whirring, blowers whining.  But when all those human based noises are quiet, I hear the birds.  As soon as dawn begins to break, the birds begin singing.  To me, it’s like a symphony of sound, music, calls and squawks.  I hear the cardinals singing “pee-ka-to, pee-ka-to” over and over so it actually sounds like “Topeka”, so I think of Kansas. The most common sound is the chirp, chirp of the sparrows.    My favorite is the red wing black bird, with it’s guttural call, and then sweet “bo-ker-eeee.”  Mourning doves coo  some low notes. The European starlings looking for mates call out a trill sound that quickly rises in frequency, from low to high, like a very fast tea kettle.  The blue jays scream their “toodala, toodala.”  A few screaming “caws” and they fly off.  I can hear woodpeckers pounding their beaks on some dead wood near by. [Read more …]

Spring 1.2

I will sleep well tonight. I am physically exhausted, aching muscles, just out of a soothing Epsom salts’ bath. I dug up two bushes and replanted each where the other was. One was a large Oak Leaf Hydrangea, with wide reaching roots just under the grass, and the other was a Japanese Pieris, which did poorly over the second bitter cold winter in a row. The Oak Leaf Hydrangea has showy big leaves and large groups of flowers that mostly are magenta in color, though they change over time. The Mountain Laurel is 1/4 the size of the Hydrangea, and had only a few lantern like flowers grouped together like grapes, last year. I don’t know if it has the energy to bloom this year. We will see soon. [Read more …]

Spring 1.1

Gardening is my passion in my free time. It is my way of grounding myself, meditating and creating beauty in my world. Once the snow is gone, I can be found wandering around my yard, tending to flowers, bushes and trees. Dividing and transplanting perennials is an early spring chore. April usually brings dandelion digging and daffodils. May blooms in apple, cherry, pear and crab apple. The sunshine is strong after a dark winter and I revel in needing to rub sunblock on my arms, legs and face and neck. It’s wasted on my hands, as they are always in the dirt, digging. [Read more …]

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